Archive: Kyle's Fresh Cranberry Relish: a happy accident
I was first introduced to raw cranberry relish at my mother-in-law's table, before I was married. It was a Prast family favorite. When it was time for me to host my first turkey dinner, I made what I thought was like my husband's mother's recipe. It wasn't. As it turned out, everyone liked my variation better!
This relish is ridiculously easy to make and is good at any time of year with pork, ham, chicken, and of course, turkey. You will need a food processor though, or it won't work.
1 bag, 12 ounces, of fresh cranberries, washed (*frozen berries can be used too)
1 navel orange, scrubbed
¾ to 1 cup sugar (I use ¾ because we like things on the tart side-it is also less sugar!)
3 ribs of celery, diced-not the dark green outer ribs but the more mild flavored medium to light green ones
½ to 1 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts (I do this by hand as it yields a more even texture)
First, cut the ends off of the orange, just far enough to reach the flesh of the orange. Trim off any blemishes on the peeling. Cut the orange in half and then each half into quarters.
Place the 8 pieces of orange, still with the peeling on, into the food processor, with the chopping blade installed. Pulse until the orange is chopped into approx ¼ inch bits. Some will be smaller, some larger. Set aside.
Next, put the cranberries into the food processor (no need to wash the work bowl). Pulse until the berries are at least quartered. Again, some pieces will be smaller, some larger. (Some people like them more finely chopped, I don't.)
Place the chopped berries into a mixing bowl and add the oranges, sugar, celery and walnuts and stir. It takes a few minutes for the sugar to dissolve. Serve. Coarsely chopped fresh pineapple can be added too for a different twist.
This salad can be made the day ahead of Thanksgiving, but I like to keep the ingredients separated. I just put the chopped berries in the serving bowl first, then the pile of chopped oranges. I put the sugar in a zip loc bag, celery in another small zip loc and walnuts in a 3rd bag. I place the baggies on top of the berries and oranges and cover the whole bowl with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator until the next day. An hour or two before serving time, I just mix all the ingredients together. I found this delayed mix method works better-it makes a prettier presentation. If mixed too early, the red bleeds into the orange, walnuts, and celery. (It still tastes fine the next day though).
*Fresh cranberries aren't available all year, so I make sure I buy extra bags for the freezer.